THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams formally waived troubled running back Tre Mason on Friday, a decision that was long considered inevitable.
Mason, a third-round pick out of Auburn in 2014, never reported to the team last season and spent the entire year in and out of legal trouble. At one point, TMZ published a dash-cam video in which a woman who appeared to be Mason’s mother blamed CTE for what she had previously described as “unusual behavior” and “irrational statements” from her son.
The Rams spent a large portion of 2016 communicating with Mason’s agent, Bus Cook, and were finally able to meet with Mason personally a few weeks ago.
“Tre visited us within the last month,” Rams general manager Les Snead said Friday, the day his team introduced new left tackle Andrew Whitworth and wide receiver Robert Woods. “We came to the conclusion we thought it was best to move in this direction, for all parties.”
Snead didn’t provide specifics about his meeting with Mason, only to call it “productive” and “a step in the right direction.” The Rams’ GM also didn’t feel comfortable providing an update on Mason’s well-being, but he did get the impression that “there is some intention to play football again” for Mason.
Mason was the Rams’ primary running back for most of the 2014 season, gaining 765 yards on 179 attempts. The Rams then drafted Todd Gurley 10th overall and Mason assumed a backup role, rushing 75 times for 207 yards in 2015.
Then Mason, 23, seemingly became mercurial.
On March 5, 2016, Mason was arrested during a traffic stop in Hollywood, Florida, and faced five charges, for resisting an officer/obstruction without violence, reckless driving, failure to register a motor vehicle, possession of marijuana in an amount less than 20 grams and failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle.
Law-enforcement officers were reportedly called to Mason’s mother’s home at least five times between the traffic stop in March and a bizarre ATV incident in July.
Mason was at a park on the afternoon of July 27 allegedly doing wheelies on an ATV. When police tried to stop him, Mason sped past them and fled to his mother’s home in Lake Worth, Florida. Law-enforcement officials followed Mason to the home and cited him for operating an ATV on public roads and failing to stop for police. A dash-cam video recorded Mason’s mom, Tina, telling responding officers that her son is “22 in a 10-year-old’s mindset right now.”
Mason was excused from the Rams’ offseason training program in June for personal reasons and was put on the reserve/did not report list at the start of training camp on July 30, remaining under that designation throughout the regular season.
The Rams at least reached some semblance of closure.
“Throughout the process, we’ve been communicating with him — his family, his agent — at different points on the timeline,” Snead said Friday. “But this was a great meeting.”